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Who has the parental rights for the baby girl?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Darulifta-Deoband.com
With due respect I would like to ask you one sensitive and emotional problem for clarification of a baby girl lost her mother 15 days after her birth. The baby was with his father after her mother’s demise. The mother delivered the baby in pathetic condition and left the world after 15 days (approx.). Father (of the baby) wish to keep her with him. He wants to up bring her daughter along with his parents (mother and father). Both, mashaAllah are with good health and the baby also have aunt (phuphi) there. The baby is 4 months (approx.) old now. Now the grandparents of the baby girl (Nana and Nani) had taken the baby and claiming the parental rights (care taking and upbringing) on the baby. Babies grandmother (Nani) is suffering with serious health problems. Baby does not have any aunt (Khala) there. The grandparents (Nana and Nani) of the baby don’t want to give the baby to her father. Who has the parental rights baby girl? Father of grandmother?

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

(Fatwa: 492/496/N=06/1436)

Nani (maternal grandmother) has preference over dadi in nurturing and nursing a baby boy or girl. Hence in the above mentioned case the girl shall stay with her Nani up to the age of nine according to Lunar calendar and the Nani shall nurse and nurture her. However, when the girl reaches the age of nine then you (father) shall have the right to keep the girl with you by taking her in his custody from her Nani. Thereafter Nani shall have no right to keep the child with her forcefully. However, before nine years neither Nani can stop the father meeting the child nor father can stop Nani to visit the girl while she is in his custody.
ثم بعد الأم بأن ماتت ….أم الأم وإن علت عند عدم أهلية القربى ثم أم الأب الخ (درمختار مع الشامى 5:262 مطبوعه مكتبه زكريا ديوبند)، وغيرهما أحق بها حتى تشتهي، وقدر بتسع، وبه يفتى، …… وعن محمد أن الحكم فى الأم والجدة كذلك، وبه يفتى لكثرة الفساد، زيلعى (حواله بالا ص 268)، قوله: “كذلك”: أي: في كونها أحق بها حتى تشتهي، قوله: “وبه يفتى” قال فى البحر بعد نقل تصحيحه: والحاصل أن الفتوى على خلاف ظاهر الرواية (شامى)، قوله: “من بلد أمه” : الظاهر أن غيرها من الحاضنات كذلك ط ، ….. ما فى الحاوي يشتمل ما بعد الاستغناء وهذا هوالأرفق بالأم، ويؤيده ما فى التاتارخانية: الولد متى كان عند أحد الأبوين لا يمنع الأخر عن النظر إليه وعن تعهده اهـ (شامى 5: 274، 275)

Allah knows Best!

Darul Ifta,
Darul Uloom Deoband

This answer was collected from the official ifta website of Darul Uloom Deoband in India.

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